The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Admin on Thu Aug 26 2010, 16:27

The Vanguard - Frostbite and Putty



OOC Putting numbers is only any good if you have a microscope handy. I'll put a large number next update to show you what you're up to. The Graphics bar is a 'visual guide' but I suppose a number is better, just doesn't look very good Sad


Putty stagger under the blows, but every cut that opened on his body healed instantly, though was puffy where the scar hadn't quite meshed. It would - if he ever got time to heal!

OOC I'm assuming your priority is to get out of there, hence...



OOC next status bar will have your numbers on showing 0/15 etc in a legible size...

Frostbite blasted the one he'd already injured. The Ogre bellowed, looked dazed for a split second, then grinned and continued to lash out with its weapon! He swooped over, looking to grab hold of...

No need. Putty lashed an arm out like a length of twine or spiders web, latching onto Frostbites' leg as he passed over, then hauled himself in as the pair soared upwards and away, leaving the snarling creatures behind!

Except... well, they weren't quite out of the frying pan yet, never mind the fire!

<<Incoming. 1 o'clock relative to your position.>> said the computer. Frostbite looked up, then about...



Below, the river, surrounded on both sides by thick, sprawling forest. The canopy looks deep and the ground cannot be seen even from this height. Many of the trees are very tall indeed. Still, it may offer some cover and the flying harpies would be at a disadvantage... But what you cannot see in the forest are perhaps other, perils. No one said the life of a hero would be easy!


OOC they are 50m away, but between you and the castle. They are closing in at high speed! Initiative 1d10=8 Heroes, 1d10=6 Harpies. 1 frame to y'all, then their 3 frames. Ogre 1 has taken 35 Htc (for my records) should you run into them again...This coming round is round 3 of 5 for Frostbites' energy regeneration.


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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Thu Aug 26 2010, 17:24

Frostbite

OOC:

Thanks for your efforts re the bar, I really like them and seeing, for instance Putty's HTK at midpoint is a very strong reminder of how bad things are. I did think of an alternative instead of numbers even if you had say 3/4/ 1/2 and a 1/4 markers so we knew roughly where we were that would be better and possible less cluttered.

Anyway I'm not trying to make more work for you mate, but equally don't want to say, 'I'll use 10 dice' when I only have 7, I guess.


IC:

Frostbite looked up, "Man this island's defences are really tough, let see if we can't get to a better position." Looking down and around, Frostbite sought out in the terrain below a place from which they could get the upper hand in terms of using the terrain to their best advantage.

Sj

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Admin on Thu Aug 26 2010, 22:08

The Vanguard - Frostbite and Putty



OOC Below and around you are heavily wooded areas. It's very hilly, most of which are covered with woodlands. In such a place it would be hard or impossible to track the likes of Frostbite and Putty for the Harpies if the heroes used their abilities (incredible agility, intangibility and flight) to the full.

As Frostbite looked, he saw a remarkable sight...



What looked to be a white horse.. no... a Unicorn! The beast raised itself on its hind legs, and appeared to shake its head as if gesturing for the Vanguardians to follow into the woods!

The heroes were several hundred meters away - they would have to 'run the gauntlet' of the Harpies to fly directly to where the Unicorn was...

OOC Don't worry, we're not playing Dungeons and Dragons - you can't enter the realm of 'The Fey' and not expect creatures of Legend to live there though Razz And you'd be surprised as to what kind of allies might turn up in places like this...
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Fri Aug 27 2010, 00:33

PUTTY AND FROSTBITE

"Frostbite, if you can handle the flying and dodging, I will do my best to beat off any attacks" Putty says. "That seems to be the only friendly creature here, so maybe we ought to trust it ... unless you think it not safe to do so."

[assuming a positive response to Putty's request - Putty will form into a flattened lump on Frostbite's back, with four "tentacles" - his arms and legs and two eyestalks, like on a snail. Using his 20meter reach, he will slap/punch any creatures who get within his 20m range while Frostbite flies them to safely. This will mean he won't be able to dodge any attacks, relying on Frostbite to dodge for the two of them, and if Frostbite fails, he will just take the damage and heal later.]

ooc: yeah, I like the graphs too. Number are unimportant as a bar lets me see just how far in damage I am. Labeling it 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4, if you can fit it in readably, would be nice.
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Fri Aug 27 2010, 07:33

Frostbite[/font]

OOC:
Don't worry, we're not playing Dungeons and Dragons - you can't enter the realm of 'The Fey' and not expect creatures of Legend to live there though Razz And you'd be surprised as to what kind of allies might turn up in places like this...
I wouldn't mind if I were Very Happy

IC:

"Frostbite, if you can handle the flying and dodging, I will do my best to beat off any attacks" Putty says. "That seems to be the only friendly creature here, so maybe we ought to trust it ... unless you think it not safe to do so."

"Roger that Putty, lets give it a try!" Frostbite paused only so long as Putty needed to be in place, before he took off accelerating to his top speed. Moving his arms forward he prepared himself to lower the temperature around and before them to make it harder for the Harpies to get closer.

OOC: Ok flying off asap, toward the Unicorn, and going to use Field Manipulation at the ready, to try and keep the Harpies off guard and away from us as I can.

Sj
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Admin on Fri Aug 27 2010, 14:11

The Vanguard - Putty and Frostbite

Despite their human like appearance, the Harpies were feral, animal like. The strange appearance of their prey caused them to circle and 'measure' their foes, until the target suddenly took off! With a surprise head start the harpies were caught 'on the hop' and screeched their rage, before streaking off after their food!

As they got closer (they seem to be flying faster than Frostbite) Putty sent tendrils out, mostly as warning for these things were agile and fast, avoiding incoming blows as well as any bird.

It did the trick though. With his keen mind Putty was able to put one off, then another, so that the others had to whirl and pull up to avoid one another. Frostbite helped by creating a zone or 'bubble' of cold which caused the Harpies to screech and pull up or fly around when they struck it.

In moments the Vanguardians had pulled out a healthy lead and headed down towards the trees, most notably the clearing where the Unicorn waited. Upon seeing the magnificent mythical horse the Harpies screeched their rage and renewed their pursuit!

<<They are gaining. Their speed is, ultimately, faster than yours>> informed the computer. <<They match no known configuration of natural life that I have records for.>>

Frostbite glanced back. They were nearing the treeline. Putty would be able to leap clear soon and his agility, powers and strength would make him a formidable foe. Frostbite knew his powers would return soon after his exertions, and figured that, somehow, they might be able to fight the things off enough to escape into the woods.

They didn't need to.



The tall Elfin maiden who stepped from the trees to stand near the Unicorn stretched out a hand and shouted "Yarrr Vanna so Veraa Kaluun!"

There was a huge thunderclap in the midst of the flying harpies that scrambled their senses and sent them spiralling, tumbling, crashing into the trees. Aside from a few leaves and birds taking flight, of the the Harpies there were no sign.

The Elf maiden waited near the Unicorn for Frostbite and Putty to land...

OOC The 'Elf Maiden' is Bridget Regan (in real life) beautiful young woman (well, 28, young to me Smile )who I think would've made a great Wonder Woman. She also makes a Great Elven Sorceress, but my attempts to draw pointy ears on were quickly discarded, shall we say...

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Fri Aug 27 2010, 16:44

PUTTY

The Elf maiden waited near the Unicorn for Frostbite and Putty to land...

"I think we have an ally," Putty says to Frostbite. He jumped off his partner's back and formed into a roughly parachute shape, turning into a ball at the last second, bounding along the ground and then rolling until he stopped at the feet of the Elf Maiden

[we assume she is a Maiden and not a Maid because the GM says so and not because Putty has the power to determine virginity!!!!] Laughing

He then resumes his more lumpish yet familiar shape.

"Hello, my name is Putty. Do you understand me," he said politely.



The 'Elf Maiden' is Bridget Regan (in real life) beautiful young woman (well, 28, young to me )who I think would've made a great Wonder Woman.
ooc:
I'm at that age where I find that on the edge of too young for me too! Crying or Very sad
Now that I know she played in Legend of the Seeker, I know who she is now.

And I'm of the opinion that Sophia Loren would have been the bestest Wonder Woman ever! Back in the late 1950s-early 1960s. Jane Russell in the 1940s. And funnily enough, I'm currently going through the old Wonder Woman TV series with my Netflix account. Just saw the opening three episodes of year two, where they brought her up to modern times.
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Fri Aug 27 2010, 18:44

FROSTBITE

"I think we have an ally," Putty says to Frostbite. He jumped off his partner's back and formed into a roughly parachute shape, turning into a ball at the last second, bounding along the ground and then rolling until he stopped at the feet of the Elf Maiden

Frostbite quickly came to rest at Putty's side. As he came to land he glanced up first at the Harpies, then around him as he descended. Finally alongside his companion he spoke up. "Indeed we are indebted to you, but in this strange land I hope you'll understand our hesitation to trust. As we do not yet know who our friends might be from our foes."

I hadn't occurred to Frostbite to speak in a way that was more formal, but it just came to him naturally so he went with it.

OOC: Linda Carter, man when that series started I was only a young man but she was gorgeous. The lady you had above I don't recognise, but with so many beautiful women regularly appearing from TV to film, it all becomes very samey to me these days.

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Admin on Sat Aug 28 2010, 11:29

The Vanguard - Frostbite and Putty

The Elfin woman stands tall - around 6' or so, dressed in creme robes tinged green at the bottom, presumably from living in the forest.

"Understand you? Yes I do." smiles the Elven woman to Putty.

"Remarkable." she says in a voice that sounds almost musical.



"I have never seen your like! When I saw the Harpies chasing prey across the sky, I had wondered what manner of creatures you were. You change shape so naturally! And you fly without wings, presumably by magic, but I cannot sense any about you. There is something though..." she narrows her eyes. "Some other presence..."

She looks up, even as the Harpies screech. "They will regroup and come to this spot. We must go. It is not safe out in the open where Mordreds vile forces can find us!"

She turns to go, the Unicorn raising up on its back legs and pawing the sky before its horn shimmers... and the horse disappears!

"He was always a showoff" grins the Elf. "Come! Unless you wish to do battle with more than mere harpies!"


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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Sat Aug 28 2010, 11:43

Frostbite

As the women turned away from them to lead on into the forest, Frostbite looked at Putty meaningfully. His intent was clear, they followed for now but they'd been warned about a women. Morgan Le Fey, might this be her? And if so was what they saw all part of some elaborate game. Only time would tell.

Frostbite looked back toward the Harpies one more time, before following the women into the woods.

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Sat Aug 28 2010, 14:16

PUTTY

Putty nodded to Frostbite to take the lead. With his Swiss-Cheese memory, he felt his teammate would be better at handling any discussions.
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Admin on Sat Aug 28 2010, 15:48

The Vanguard - Putty and Frostbite

Their travels to find the holy grail having taken them into some weird far off land, the Vanguardians followed the Elf maiden through the forest, which quickly got deeper and darker, and harder to traverse. The Elf Maiden glanced back. Putty had no problems whatsoever in keeping up, his incredible abilities allowing him to morph and swing between obstacles as if they weren't there, and Frostbite simply phased through them. She paused, looking at them, then shrugged and really set off.

Her matchless knowledge of the habitat and speed that bordered on superhuman soon had the Vanguardians working harder to catch up, and presently the only light given off was from luminescent green moss growing on rocks and the base of trees, for the canopy covered the sky from view!

After what seemed like an hour or so, the Elf maiden turned and waited, and the Vanguardians caught up within moments. "You'll be safe here. But before I take you further... who are you? You are mortal, I feel... and yet more. Are you gods? The powers I sense from you are but a fraction of your might. Have you come to rid the land of the taint of Mordred and free the Queen?"
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Sat Aug 28 2010, 17:51

Frostbite

"...who are you? You are mortal, I feel... and yet more. Are you gods? The powers I sense from you are but a fraction of your might. Have you come to rid the land of the taint of Mordred and free the Queen?"

"Thank you," Frostbite said, grateful to finally be free of any further pursuit, "You are very perceptive. Yes we are more than just men, but we are not gods. Where we come from has itself been beset by a terrible problem. What we knew to be true has been altered and our land is also enslaved. We see the means to free our own land from a terrible evil. Now tell us more about yourself, this Mordred you speak off and of your Queen?"

Frostbite sat down, seeking to take the lead by being at ease with this unknown lady.

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Admin on Sat Aug 28 2010, 22:01

The Vanguard - Frostbite and Putty

The Elf looked to each of you, entranced by your 'otherworldly appearance'. She, by comparison, seemed conventional and 'normal' save for the pointed ears which protruded from her hairline when her head moved.

Seating herself on a log, she stared at you both again. "You are no friend to the harpies, and therefore Lord Mordred, so I will trust you. This is the land of myth. In my tongue it is 'Amelraeth', in another it is 'Avalon'. It is a vast land peopled by many different races. My own people came here when the magic waned from the 'otherland'. In truth many of the beasts and people had traversed the mists and come here because of the fury and hatred of man against all other races, including his own. The mortals know not how peace is made, and so the peoples of the immortal realm passed into fable, but in truth came here. The Queen of this part of the land is Morgana. For a long time she was cruel, unjust, vile. Then she went away, and came back, changed. Some say it is because of the cup she brought back with her. A cup of shining light so bright no evil may gaze on it or be blinded! However, some say the cup was ne'er meant to be here. It's magic waned, and Morgana, sinking back into wicked ways, saw this. So she gave herself over to the long sleep, locking her form in crystal, with the Grail, until such time as a champion could take it back beyond the mists and fill the cup with the magic of the mortal realm. Herein lies another tale. An evil race conquered much of the mortal realm and began destroying its magical places. There was, therefore, nothing to fill the cup with. The stones..." she pointed out towards a direction in the forest "Were ever a gate between our realms. As was an island and numerous other sites. The gates are closing. We have glimpsed beyond the mist and seen the evil. They are a race known as the Nazis, and though they seem mortal, many walk amongst them with the power of the gods."

She sighed. "The Queen sleeps so that her evil cannot return, and the cup with her, encased in crystal. Her son, the Lord Mordred, rules in her stead, and recruits to his banner such evil beasts as you may have already met! His plan is to conquer the lands of myth and spill forth into the worlds of man. He is aided by creatures the like of which we have never seen."

"We call them shadow demons, and they are terrible indeed."

Putty and Frostbite couldn't help themselves - their bodies reacted with surprise and anger before self control exerted itself!

The Elf maiden stood, backed off, frightened. She saw the heroes calm, then narrowed her eyes. "You know something of these Shadow Demons? They answer Lord Mordreds call, in the castle you saw. Once he has gathered enough evil to his banner, he will march, and the Demons have promised him power enough to conquer the mortal realm! We know this through our magic, and fight to stop him... but we are few, and the evil he gathers is legion. Even now we plan to storm the castle to shatter the crystal and take the chalice but know our mission is doomed. We are too few, and yet we must try anyway. If we can get the chalice back to the mortal realm, it may be possible to refill its magic by standing in a circle of stones. The circle is a gateway to his magical realm and the magic will flow from here to there. It is an artifact meant for mortal hands and so cannot be filled here, where all live for eons. Once that is done, the Queen can be awoken and she can stop her son, and restore peace to the land."

Frostbite and Putty took that in.

  • The Grail was needed to power the White Warlocks spell to open a gate into the past.

  • It was needed to awaken Queen Morgana here and free a land of myth from a powerful evil - one where the Shadow Demons had a foothold.

  • And Queen Victoria wanted to see the Grail one last time, before she could rest.

The Elf maiden looked up "The Forest! It cries out in alarm! Mordreds' evil legions scour the land, looking for... for you! Who ARE you? You came through the mists! Have you great magic? We have seen beyond the mists and the place you call Stonehenge, the key to filling the Grail, dismantled by the Nazis I spoke of. All hope was lost until several hours ago, when a stone was set back in place by a Storm Giant and a man from the future, but they have the stone placement wrong! The gate can never open if they continue placing the stones as they do! And all of this matters for naught if the few of us in the forest cannot penetrate into Mordreds lair and take the Chalice!" She looked despairing then up at the pair of you. "I don't know who you are, but help us! Please..."
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Sun Aug 29 2010, 07:43

Frostbite

"I don't know who you are, but help us! Please..."

Frostbite strode forward and gently took the lady's hand. "You've told us more than we could imagine to be true and yet also told us much of what brings us here as well.

"We're also fighting the same evil you mention, the Shadow Demons. We,"
Frostbite indicated Putty and himself, "and the men you spoke off at Stonehenge our part of our force. Called the Vanguard, we've been given powers to stop the terrible evil that the Shadow Demon's possess to harm all worlds. As you know they only seek to cause destruction and misery, which is as meat and bread to them, we are the Vanguard against them.

But in our world, the Nazi's you mention were never meant to rule. We've come to this realm, at the bidding of our Queen, to seek the grail! For with its power at the Stone Circle you've mentioned and we know as Stone Henge; we can go back in time, to right what was wrong. Our companions seek to rebuild the Henge to do this, but clearly are struggling. Our struggle and yours seem to be one and the same. We will help you do what we can, for in helping you we will be helping all worlds stand firm against the Darkening Shadows."


Having made his point, hastily as he could Frostbite turned to his companion and the lady once again, "Now lead us to your forces, we must find out how to sack Mordred's castle."

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Sun Aug 29 2010, 13:30

PUTTY

Having made his point, hastily as he could Frostbite turned to his companion and the lady once again, "Now lead us to your forces, we must find out how to sack Mordred's castle."

"Indeed," Putty said, wondering if maybe they could use the forces here as a distraction on the castle, but not a real attempt to storm it, while he and Frostbite slipped in unseen.
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Admin on Sun Aug 29 2010, 22:57

The Vanguard - Putty and Frostbite

The Maiden smiles, glancing at Frostbites' hand then looking into his ice sheathed eyes. Her own mist over as she speaks "We divined the fates. We asked the spirits of wood and water for a sign, some kind of help. Our hopes were raised so high when the Queen, tired of evil, renounced her ways and drunk from the Chalice. Many thought the magic would consume her, instead it cleansed her. She ruled wisely and peacefully. I believe her troubled soul was at peace. Then the magic left the Chalice, finally, and the places where it could be filled were gone. And so began the dark times of Mordred. My people are scattered! We avoid the massed patrols of vile creatures he has gathered to his banner. Our only saving grace is that he crushed many of the free peoples in this area and the few that remain present little threat, so the bulk of his army is elsewhere. He is not without power and minions to do his will, however. I will lead you to what remains of the resistance in the woods and we can formulate a plan from there. Many left in the last few days, leading villagers to safety in the mountains. There will soon be no safe place from Mordreds evil."

She stood, hand still clasped to Frostbites. "Come. I will take you to what few of us remain."

=========

Elsewhere, not so far away....

The throne room was cast mostly in shadow from occasional torches lit here and there. The tapestries that had been the queens had long since been torn down and discarded. Several figures stood in silence around a table poring over a map. All wore armour, matt black and tinged with red in places. One stood attired in gold, a shining paragon of virtue and nobility.

Until you saw his eyes.

Mordred looked about the table. "We have marshalled our forces. To the North, we stand ready to crush the Atlanteans! To the east and west, the peoples of the free leagues. The south has proved most troublesome, but our Lord Enchanter will provide a solution. We will conquer all. However, though we stand on the brink of victory here, there remains a far greater prize. The world of mortal man."

"Why King Mordred? There we are mortal. albeit more than mere man. Here, there is an eternity of dominion!" asked one of the Knights.

"Because, Sir Meleagant, the fate that befell my mother would afflict me also. Boredom! What use Eternal life, without challenge, victory, battle? We will win out here, and with our new allies will cast a shadow over the Mortal realm. All will fall before us. They are locked in struggles of their own. Once we have the Grail, and the sword of power, a gateway can be opened to a realm of shadow, and from there an army of such unimaginable power will sally forth! We ... I ... will be supreme, and your reward for loyalty shall be immense! I have seen a glimpse into the darkness, and there are worlds untold yet to be conquered! This realm will be the key! This realm of magic! First though... I must have the Grail!"

"And the sword?" inquired the Knight.

Mordred shrugged "I will have that as a keepsake to remind me of my father, and his ultimate failure."

A figure stepped from the shadows, though he was shrouded in darkness from the black cloak and hood that enveloped his form. "Your father was a great man. He sired you, though not through choice, admittedly. Without his greatness, you would not be where you are. Remember that, Mordred."

The King winced at the sleight of using his name without the title he'd bestowed on himself. He turned to face the cloaked figure. "So tell me, oh great Enchanter, how the progress goes on cracking the crystal my mother crafted about herself and the Grail? Despite your new found power, and of course, your return from the pits of hell where your soul was chained, you seem to have had little or no success in retrieving the Grail. It is within my grasp, yet I cannot touch it. GIVE ME THE GRAIL DAMN YOU!" he bellowed, stepping closer in to stare below the hood.

Black eyes stared back. "Aye. I owe you much Mordred. And your new allies more. But the price you ask is a betrayal of everything I stood for. And I will pay it. But seek not to cow me like your fawning minions! I am Merlin! I bow to no man!"

Mordred paused, then smiled. "When I have the grail, you will bow to me, Merlin, as will all. I will be no man, however... I will be a god!"

The Enchanter stared at Mordred with solid black eyes. He bit back more words, then bowed his head. "It will be as you say... my king."

In the background still, flitting figures stood in the darkest of shadows. They cackled and fed on the hatred, the fear and the loathing strong in this room, and about the castle...

'Soon'... they thought to themselves...

=========

In the forest...

Leading through the forest, the Elf Maiden slowed finally with Frostbite and Putty in close pursuit as they came into a clearing. Moss grew over the stones and trees and vines wrapped around the great trunks. Birds twittered and small animals scurried about as sunlight broke through from above in beams to give the glade an ethereal air. Somewhere close the sound of a bubbling brook added more music and the Vanguardians drunk it in, a sharp contrast to the stone and steel of the Nazi Britain they'd left behind. No metallic tang in the air, no wail of sirens for curfew.

Still suffering, fear and evil was never far away, wherever the Vanguardians wandered.

As they rounded a fallen tree and stepped nearer the sound of water, the two Vanguardians found it difficult not to gasp in surprise, despite all they'd seen and experienced.



The Elf Maiden was no less surprised.

"So few? Where is everyone?" she cried.

One of the Dwarves spoke up "This is it lassie. The others are escorting the villagers to sanctuary. We are the last of the resistance..."

The winged man spoke up "We feared for you Elesieth! At least you return whole.. and you bring... friends?" Instantly some of the others, notably the huge dragon/demon thing (OOC centre stage) and the blue hulking creature (OOC to the right) stood on their guards. She raised her hands and turned. "These are my friends! They are the ones we have been praying for, I feel it! They are from beyond the mist!"

The group looked at one another, uneasy. "The divinations spoke of a Shadow man, a Storm Giant, a Spider Woman and a man from Nowhere. We knew nothing of what it meant, but these two would match the descriptions of the man of ice and the man of water. If they are indeed men, and not demons sent to trick you!" said the Centaur (OOC in the middle). "We know you have the power of true sight, but these are dark times. Mordred has nearly won out, and our mission is too important to entrust to such a small group! We should regroup! There must be a better time to strike!"

The humans in armour (OOC 4th and 5th from the left) spoke up, their voices as one. It was a strange, 'stereo' effect, yet seemed completely natural. "We believe in Elesieths' visions. The Unicorn led her to these outlanders and none may deceive its power! And any deceipt would be known by you Elesieth, we feel sure. We are with you."

The Dwarves grumbled, then nodded, shuffled and muttered "Aye. As am I. And I."

One by one the group came about, though were uneasy.

The Elf Maiden turned to you "We will rest, and eat. When night falls we will attempt to get into the castle. None would be so foolish as to attack Mordred in his seat of power, and so he will not be ready for it!"

The Minotaur, walking by and towering over the Vanguardians, huffed "It is not just Mordred we must be wary of. I fear nothing, and even my spine chills to ice at the thought of what waits within those walls. Know you, Elesieth, aye, and all others. We few, the brotherhood, have sworn our lives to bringing down Mordred so our peoples may live in peace, but should we fail,none should be under any illusions about the darkness that will befall this land!"

OOC Next... Into Mordreds castle... That'll be up tomorrow. Recovering from hellish night shifts and my eyes are rattling in their sockets right now ... Oh, I haven't had chance to name all these guys as yet, so anything you call them that sounds vaguely like a fantasy name will stick. Elesieth is the Elf Maiden who has a soft spot for Frostbite Smile

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Mon Aug 30 2010, 00:58

PUTTY


The Minotaur, walking by and towering over the Vanguardians, huffed "It is not just Mordred we must be wary of. I fear nothing, and even my spine chills to ice at the thought of what waits within those walls. Know you, Elesieth, aye, and all others. We few, the brotherhood, have sworn our lives to bringing down Mordred so our peoples may live in peace, but should we fail,none should be under any illusions about the darkness that will befall this land!"

Putty steps forward, streching up his neck so he is eye to eye with the Minotaur.

"My name is Putty. I am not human but of another race from another planet. That is something I just learned recently; I had always thought I was human. My friend is called Frostbite. He comes from an Earth that is not the Earth you know, yet it is. He tells me on his Earth, the Nazis lost the war and Britain still stands free. We seek to reset the balance so that that Earth will once again exist. I have pledged my life to this Cause, even if it costs me my life."

"We need the Grail to set right what went wrong. We will fight this Modred and all his forces to regain the Grail to do this. It is my hope we can also set your lands free of this evil and bring back the peace."

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Mon Aug 30 2010, 10:17

Frostbite

Frostbite nodded as his friend gave a succient reply to the Minataur. "I my friend speaks truthfully. We are allies although our enemies appear to wear different faces in truth they are guided by the same enemies we are here to defeat."

With that Frostbite allowed his visage to change, defrosting his hard outer shell, to once again feel human again. He invited the Minataur to sit with them so they might get to know him and his allies better.

Sj
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Admin on Mon Aug 30 2010, 21:01

The Vanguard - Putty

The Minotaur is taken aback by Puttys' change of size, and looks eye to eye with the Vanguardian. Hearing his words he considers for a moment. Considered a 'monster' in fictional works, the Minotaur stood near Putty is nothing of the sort. Lacking the muscles or facial features to enable a smile, still Putty gets the general impression that not only are he and Frostbite welcome to the cause of the Brotherhood, they are grateful to have you along.

"We need to free the Queen. For decades the Queen ruled with an iron fist, then something happened. She disappeared and came back changed. Most agree now it was the cups influence. She will have had evil intentions for it, but it's magic will have worked on her. Over time she changed, and saw that ruling the land in peace was far more rewarding than conquering it and subjugating its people. A shame then, that the Cups magic ran out. This land... every being in the land, is magical. The cup is a mortal relic, though an incredibly powerful one. When the link to the mortal realm was cut through the dismantling of the standing stones, so the cups influence on the Queen diminished. It is to her credit - and our regret - that she chose to encase herself in impervious crystal rather than become evil and use the chalice for evil ways. In doing so she ensured no other could use it, though I am sure her son, recently returned from exile, will not stop till he finds a way." says the Minotaur. He gazes again at Putty. "I am Gra'Ahl, first keeper of the sacred flame and heir to the towering herd, though it be scattered in my peoples attempts to flee Mordreds evil. They do not realize that they cannot run far enough if he succeeds in getting the chalice. When the cup is empty of goodness, it can be filled with evil, or so the seers say. I for one simply wish to cleave my axe through the foul ones' heart, and be done with the whole sorry business so I can return to my clan."

The satyr stood next to the Minotaur crunches on an apple, looking up at his companion. "You always talk too much. I am Pennalagar. Eat. There is food."

The Satyr turns and walks to the small fire burning in the clearing with the various members of the group gathered around. A boar is roasting, the smell delicious and reminding the Vanguardians they've not properly eaten in what seems like days.

As Gra'Ahl (Minotaur) and Putty walk along the Minotaur turns "The lands of magic are connected to many places. If you have the skill and the knowledge, you can open a gate to any time, any place in the mortal realm. I am curious to know though. By which gate did you enter the enchanted realm? As far as we knew the great gate with the standing stones was the only place remaining. All the other, smaller, gates had been closed, though some, unused for millenia, remain open and hidden or ignored in the mortal realm. You must have great magic indeed if you can enter the Enchanted realm by force of will alone."

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Admin on Mon Aug 30 2010, 21:14

The Vanguard - Frostbite

Frostbite heard the Minotaurs words, spoke his own, and invited the Minotaur to eat with them. It seemed that some custom, or mannerism, of the great Bull headed warrior meant he looked down with disdain on Frostbite, only grunting to acknowledge him. And yet when Putty grew, the Minotaur was positively chatty!

"Don't mind him." said one of the Dwarves, moving up. He watched Frostbite change into his human form, eyes widening. "You have powerful magic. Me? My magic resides in this." he held up an axe "And this" and flexed a fist. He laughed, then said "Come!" pointing to where the other dwarves were sat, laughing and tearing at a leg of roast boar. "I am Grunneld, this be Borgis the Grim, and his brother, Chesgar. We are of the mountain hammers clan. We came here to fight the accursed one when the refugees started to pout into our mines. Damned noisy. HA!" He reaches into a pack, then pulls forth a wine skin. He takes a swig, wincing, then glances at his comrades. "Drink?" he offers.

The Elven maiden, Elesieth, speaks quietly from behind. "I wouldn't! I have heard their spirits can strip varnish from wood!"

Grunneld chuckled "I started that rumour. Keeps thieving hands to themselves." He frowns and looks over at the Satyr, Pennalagar.

Elesieth asks "May I?", referring to her sitting down next to Joe. At his consent, she sits gracefully, cross legged. The bawdy jokes from the Dwarves quieten. They seem reverential around the young looking Elf.

"There are a number of entrances to the castle. All are guarded, and some by more than men - or monsters. It is said that the corridors are patrolled by foul creatures that can be turned away by magic only, or strength of arms, even by Mordred and his forces. He puts them there to have incorruptible guards. I propose we enter by the sewers, into the lower levels of the Castle. There is a dungeon network, composed of tunnels and prison rooms, along with storage areas. It was once another castle, and the present one was built atop it. My scrying cannot penetrate the keep. Up until recently I could do, but Mordred has found some new magician or sorcerer to do his bidding, and their spells block mine. Do you or your friend have magic that can help? Aside from changing your form from ice to human. I knew there was a real person somewhere under there, but I had no idea you were so..."

The Dwarves laughed, and Elesieth blushed, looking away. One of the Dwarves claps you on the back "You'll do lad. If you can fight as well as you charm the ladies, you'll do."
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Mon Aug 30 2010, 22:15

PUTTY


As Gra'Ahl (Minotaur) and Putty walk along the Minotaur turns "The lands of magic are connected to many places. If you have the skill and the knowledge, you can open a gate to any time, any place in the mortal realm. I am curious to know though. By which gate did you enter the enchanted realm? As far as we knew the great gate with the standing stones was the only place remaining. All the other, smaller, gates had been closed, though some, unused for millenia, remain open and hidden or ignored in the mortal realm. You must have great magic indeed if you can enter the Enchanted realm by force of will alone."

"Um ... Frostbite flew us in while I rode on his back," Putty tells Gra'Ahl. "We flew from the main island across and through some kind of mist or fog and wound up here."

"There are a number of entrances to the castle. All are guarded, and some by more than men - or monsters. It is said that the corridors are patrolled by foul creatures that can be turned away by magic only, or strength of arms, even by Mordred and his forces. He puts them there to have incorruptible guards. I propose we enter by the sewers, into the lower levels of the Castle. There is a dungeon network, composed of tunnels and prison rooms, along with storage areas. It was once another castle, and the present one was built atop it. My scrying cannot penetrate the keep. Up until recently I could do, but Mordred has found some new magician or sorcerer to do his bidding, and their spells block mine. Do you or your friend have magic that can help? Aside from changing your form from ice to human. I knew there was a real person somewhere under there, but I had no idea you were so..."

Putty looks over to the Elf Maiden and Frostbite.

"You know, I've only know Frostbite ... um ... a day? Two days? Three? In that time we have fought the Nazis in London, gone to the Moon and fought Nazi zombies there, back to London and avoided fighting Nazis. Met Queen Elizabeth and her guard. And came here. I've lost track of time to tell the truth. Yet in all that time, I never knew Frostbite was such a ladies man!"

He laughs.

"That might be why that Nazi superwoman on the Moon allowed us to go free! Do you think that might be it, Frostbite? She fell for you and didn't want to see you dead?"

Putty shifts his form into that of the woman he is talking about, and then reverts back to his normal lumpish form.

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Admin on Tue Aug 31 2010, 00:00

The Vanguard - PUTTY

As Gra'Ahl (Minotaur) and Putty walk along the Minotaur turns "The lands of magic are connected to many places. If you have the skill and the knowledge, you can open a gate to any time, any place in the mortal realm. I am curious to know though. By which gate did you enter the enchanted realm? As far as we knew the great gate with the standing stones was the only place remaining. All the other, smaller, gates had been closed, though some, unused for millenia, remain open and hidden or ignored in the mortal realm. You must have great magic indeed if you can enter the Enchanted realm by force of will alone."

"Um ... Frostbite flew us in while I rode on his back," Putty tells Gra'Ahl. "We flew from the main island across and through some kind of mist or fog and wound up here."

At the Elf Maidens' discomfort, the Minotaur seems to loosen up, and Gra'Ahl gives his best impression of a laugh - a snort that fills the air in front of him with mist. "I leave matters of the heart to others. Since Mordreds' attacks on my people I have lost many loved ones. I live only for one thing now." He glanced at the keen edge of the axe.

"As for the matter of how you were able to even see the magical mist, much less travel through it without knowing what it was...? I am aware of only certain times when such events occur. When there are powerful magical storms in the mystical lands sometimes they are reflected in the mortal realms that adjoin to this place. For some reason, an area the shape of a triangle is affected, and beings and objects mysteriously vanish, displaced to another place or time in many cases, often never seen or heard of again. Why it is a triangle I do not know. I don't suppose you have any such places on your world where mysterious events occur like that, but from what you describe, the way you entered was not through such a place. No. To see the mists, and traverse through them to the mystic realm requires great magic, not luck. Even if you do not know it, you MUST be - the pair of you - powerful sorcerers. If one of you was, and the other not, you would have been left behind. If you know nothing of it, I cannot elaborate, perhaps our resident sorceress might?"

The Elf Maiden is grateful for a distraction, and furrows her brow. "I can... try?"

She stares, eyes widening at Putty then Frostbite. "I... I can read the hearts and minds of most I meet, and all, given time and familiarity. It is a gift, and a curse. But you two... beyond that I can tell you mean us no harm, and are noble of spirit... I have never encountered such barriers! When I probe at them, it hurts! I can *feel* the boiling power behind the walls! I... have never seen its like!"

She stood, slightly frightened. "I can only say I am glad you are ... or appear to be.. on our side..." She nods, disturbed, and turns to walk off into the darkness to stand in a moonlit area in a break in the trees.

The Dwarves looks about. "Seems like we're in the presence of greatness lads!" one cackles. "Great enough to bring down that whoreson, Mordred?" asks another.

He's slapped by the third Dwarf, who stands, and starts to pull his axe "Speak not of the Queen like that! She changed her ways! She sacrificed herself rather than give in to evil! Remember why we fight, or our cause is useless!"

The Dwarf who transgressed, Chesgar, narrows his eyes and glowers at the one who struck him, Grunneld. The brother, Borgis, stands between them "Remember WHO we fight. It's not each other, lads! Save it for the true enemy!"

At that, a council is called around the main camp fire, with everyone looking up from their meal and at each other. The final gathering before the assault on the castle...

OOC anything you want to say before the plan is laid out, feel free Smile
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Tue Aug 31 2010, 07:51

Frostbite

The Elven maiden, Elesieth, speaks quietly from behind. "I wouldn't! I have heard their spirits can strip varnish from wood!"

Frostbite nodded, instead reaching for some of the food cooking. It was hard not to make a mess, and all the same look undignified, but despite his overwhelming appetite, he did his best not to eat slowly. His mum would be proud, he thought as he listened Elesieth.

"There are a number of entrances to the castle...Aside from changing your form from ice to human. I knew there was a real person somewhere under there, but I had no idea you were so..."

Unused to such attention, especially as he'd had so many problems with Abby, Jo, blushed himself. He wasn't ungrateful for the attention, but equally unused to it.

The Dwarves laughed, and Elesieth blushed, looking away. One of the Dwarves claps you on the back "You'll do lad. If you can fight as well as you charm the ladies, you'll do."

As the conversation drifted on and despite the embarrassment, Joe felt at Elesieth's discovering of what was within him, he was grateful for the laughter and banter of the dwarves. Although he had an a strong desire to go after Elesieth. He squashed it as Putty took his seat beside him. He was on a mission, although he wasn't it what you'd call a committed relationship with Abby, unless it was a commitment to its on and off nature, nonetheless Joe didn't want to start something he couldn't finish.

Having eaten his fill, Frostbite laughed and listened to the dwarfs and other enchanted creatures. He couldn't remember when he'd last felt so happy and content, and was grateful for the chance this gave him to recuperate. Clearly breaching Morganna's castle, let alone overcoming Mordred's forces and finding the way to get the cup and Morganna out wasn't going to be easy. But at least things were looking up in that they'd found allies.

Sj

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #4 - Knifes Edge...

Post  Admin on Tue Aug 31 2010, 14:44

The Vanguard - Putty and Frostbite

OOC As far as I remember the Nazi metahuman was keener on Stormwarden, must take a look back there if I get chance (not that it matters now...)

The fierce looking Centaur surprised Frostbite and Putty somewhat when he drew up a lute, whilst the Satyr pulled forth a set of pan pipes. Even the Dwarves managed to keep reasonable time using their hands on shields as drums. As the Vanguardians ate their fill and settled, watching the fire and thinking about the task ahead, a meeting was called and the small group drifted to the main fire where the remains of the boar was still spitting.

The human looking man and woman in armour spoke, again, as one. "You all know the danger we face, and the price of failure. If anyone has any second thoughts, feel free to leave, without shame. We also know there is a good chance of not living through this one, despite the scrapes we've pulled through thus far. Our plan is flimsy, at best. Get through the castle to find the Queen and somehow awaken her. Along the way, if we can confront Mordred, mores the better. We leave behind us two of our biggest assets, Druu'Gharr and Sharrrt'ikk." He gestures to the demonic looking Dragon thing and the huge blue skinned Ogre like beast. They have their own part to play, each attacking a separate side of the castle. They will buy us the time and diversion we need to slip in closer to the castle. We know there are magical wards up. Whoever is spelling for Mordred these days is no neophyte, more's the pity."

The giant creatures looked impassive, but a glance at their eyes revealed anger, hurt, regret. Theirs would be a vital and dangerous role to play, and the likelihood of either surviving was almost nil.

"Rumour has it Mordred has made a pact with the Shadow Elves. Elesieths brother and his fellow rangers watch the woods even now. We are expecting them back soon to advise that the way is clear, then the attack can begin. Should any fall, know that it has been our privilege to stand beside you. Die in the knowledge that you give your life for a genuine greater good. Live in the knowledge that others died for you, and cherish each day."

They bowed their heads, about to speak in prayer.

That's when Elesieth looked up, and across the clearing. "Somethings wrong." she said quietly. Heads turned, and by the glow of the fire an Elven ranger was revealed stood at the edge of the clearing. He tottered on unsteady legs, before muttering "Traitor! They come! Flee!" and he fell forwards, a black shafted arrow high in his back, one lower down at the base of the spine, and another in the back of his thigh.

"Eledeirius!" cried the Elf maiden, but before she could move towards him, dark figures sprung from the shadows around the camp, seemingly invisible until they moved into view of the fires! Clad like rangers, save in all black, their hoods revealed pale grey/white skin and slitted, catlike yellow eyes!

"Shadow Rangers!" cried the Centaur, before he screamed, several shafts appearing in his horse body!



And the peace was shattered, the harmony broken, and the dying begun...

OOC There are Shadow rangers pouring out of the woods from behind trees, in the trees themselves, some stepping from the shadows themselves. As the Brotherhood snaps into action arrows whizz across the clearing, mostly striking. These guys don't mess about. Initiative 1d10=8 Heroes, 1d10=7 Bad Guys. Frostbite is in human form, Putty is on full health (thanks to the elexir/drink passed around at the campfire), energy is restored to full and it's hard to even see the enemy, let alone count how many you face! 1 Frame to you...


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